Teapots are among my favorite pots to make – right behind mugs. So when there were enough potters at the art center who expressed interest in making teapots, I quickly jumped at the opportunity to spend six weeks sharing ideas and tips about teapots.
A teapot is part of my daily routine. I look forward to morning coffee very much; but, as I rarely drink coffee later than mid-morning, tea is often my choice. And, I get a lot of enjoyment from making it in a teapot.
Teapots are not teakettles. The teapot is for brewing tea, not boiling water. I get this question A LOT at craft shows. Ceramic teapots cannot be put on a stovetop to boil water.
The proper way to use a teapot is to boil water in a kettle, add the water to the teapot, swirl the water around to warm the pot, discard the water, add tea, then fill the teapot with hot water, and allow the tea to steep to desired strength.
Most people tend to use teabags to make tea because they are easy and convenient. For the potter, this means that our teapots do not need a built-in tea strainer (sieve). The teapot can have a large hole where the spout attaches and it will still be very functional for most teapot-users.
However, for those who enjoy loose tea (and I contend there is a flavor difference), a built-in tea strainer is a nice addition. Teaballs, infusers, and such are pretty paraphernalia but not the best choices for brewing quality tea as they don’t permit the tealeaves to expand. It is better to allow the tea to be loose in the pot and strain it as it is poured. With all this ritual surrounding its purpose, it makes sense that the teapot is the diva of pots.